Our Maine State Associate, Shannon Wheeler recently traveled to Ukraine, and was able to make some new contacts allowing Project HOPEFUL to advocate for even more children with HIV/AIDS.
The below article contained a comment about the eligibility of HIV+ children under the age of 5. While this statement was definitely emparted to Shannon, our Maine associate, we cannot substantiate the truth of the statement at this time. As recently as the end of August, we can verify that the SDA WAS NOT giving referrals of HIV+ children under 5 who had no other special needs diagnosis.
We are hopeful that this news relayed to Shannon will in fact be implemented very soon, but to our knowledge it has not yet happened in practice. We apologize for any false hope or confusion this has caused. We hope and pray that it comes to fruition imminently. We have removed the statement from this blog post.
“Our time was blessed, the people we know at the Christian Children’s Center where we stayed made us feel at home and I’m sure blessed us way beyond what we could have possibly blessed them.” Shannon reported. “Through the network of friends we’ve made in the past couple years, we were blessed by the opportunity to meet with a wonderful Christian man, Mr. Kuleba, who is the head of all Children’s Services in Kiev. He’s a very busy man, so the woman who directs the Center where we stayed told us it was a miracle that he had time in his schedule for us, and we’re thankful to God for this open door.
This man welcomed us into his office, and he was very interested to hear what Project HOPEFUL is doing in the States, Canada and Australia to educate families and to help find homes for little ones with HIV and other special needs. I felt very humbled by the opportunity to be representing this amazing organization to Mr. Kuleba, and he was so gracious in hearing our request to make contacts with an orphanage which houses children in his city who are living with HIV.”
Not all of the children they met are HIV+, but some in the group are, and all have various health needs, as Shannon understands it.
Shannon and her husband were able to sit in on a puppet show with the children. “One older boy announced, “Americanos!” to the group, and he smiled and sat in the middle of all the children. We were told he needs a family very urgently, because he is going to move to the next phase of orphanage soon.”
The Wheelers say that they are thankful to the people in Kiev who have worked to make possible this visit for them, and are thankful as well that Project HOPEFUL will be receiving some photos and descriptions to share before long, so these little ones can be added to the Waiting Kids
list.”I will follow up on this before long, ” assures Shannon “and in the meantime, if anyone is moved to inquire about this older boy whose time is quickly passing and needs a home very urgently, please don’t hesitate to contact me at hopefulinME@gmail.com , and we’ll see what we can do to get more information very quickly. God’s promises to the orphan are so real, and He is so faithful to hear their cry, be their Defender, take up their cause and to tug at the hearts of those He has predetermined will be Mommy and Daddy, no matter how near or far away they are right at this moment.”